There are a lot of reasons people don’t exercise and some of them are good ones. Sick kids (or parents), injuries, complicated pregnancies, etc. can all be good reasons to throw in the towel training-wise for a little bit.
Side note: I’m not saying that during times of stress (physical or emotional) you should let everything go. In fact, I think it’s during times of stress that it’s even more important to eat well and take care of yourself in other ways (foam roll, stretch, sleep, walk, etc.) so that you stay relatively healthy and when you can get back to working out it’s not so difficult. Besides…you know your results are based off about 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, right?
Then there is another list of reasons that people come up with as to why they don’t work out. Let’s call these ones what they are – excuses. You’ve heard them (and maybe even used them). I’m talking about things like I’m too busy, I work too much, I have kids, I’m too tired, I hate running, I hate the gym, I can’t afford a gym membership, and my all-time favorite I am not in good enough shape to go to the gym.
Honestly, I hear this one all the time. If feeling uncomfortable at the gym is keeping you from working out you are not alone! People tell me they are embarrassed to go to the gym because they are out of shape and there are too many fit people at the gym. I tell friends or others I meet to come try one of our classes at SOS (you can try a MOVE class for free any time local MA friends) and one of the most common answers I get is “I really want to, but I am gonna have to get in shape first.” I have to explain that the beauty of our classes is that we can modify exercises for almost anyone and you can always take breaks if you need them.
A few tips to feel more comfortable going to the gym:
- Try to view fit people as motivation instead of as a deterrent. You can be a fit person too someday. Yes, you.
- Set goals and reward yourself for hitting mini milestones. Set a behavior goal such as getting to the gym 2 times a week and working out on your own another 2 times. If you hit the goal at the end of the month put some money in a fund for vacation or buy yourself something small (by the way I’m talking a new shirt or a pedicure, not a donut).
- Buy some workout gear that makes you feel great. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, but just something that makes you feel comfortable.
- Talk to a trainer. If you’re thinking about trying out some personal training sessions or joining a group class, ask the trainer some questions. Any good personal trainer or group class instructor will explain that you can take breaks whenever you need them!
- If you truly feel uncomfortable going to the gym, commit to getting out and walking/running, doing a workout DVD or signing up for an online personal training program you can do at home. You may find that you don’t need a gym to get in shape or you may discover that working out makes you feel so much better about yourself that you’re ready to hit up the gym.
The other huge thing to remember, whether you are trying out a new class or just working out on your own at the gym, is that people are seriously so worried about their own training, how they look in their new shirt and whether people are judging them that they won’t even notice you.
Have you ever felt like you needed to get in shape before you went to the gym or joined a certain class?